The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reported that election materials were destroyed in Sunday morning’s attack on its Awgu Local Government Area office in Enugu State.
The commission disclosed this in a statement issued by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye on Sunday, in Abuja.
Okoye said the attack on the facility was reported by INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner for Enugu State, Mr Emeka Ononamadu.
Okoye said the office was set ablaze, resulting in extensive damage to mainly the stores section where election materials were kept.
“Fortunately, all movable election materials had been evacuated following recent attacks on our offices in the State. There were no casualties during the incident.”
Okoye said the identity or motives of attackers were unknown, while the incident had been reported to the Nigeria Police Force for investigation.
He said the commission appreciated the prompt response of the security agencies comprising the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigerian Army, the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) as well as the Enugu State Fire Service and the Awgu local government neighbourhood watch.
He noted that the unfortunate incident was the first, since the last attack on INEC facilities four months ago in May 2021.
POLICE VOW TO UNCOVER MYSTERY BEHIND FIRE INCIDENT
Meanwhile, the Police Command in Enugu State says it has commenced investigation to resolve the mystery behind the fire that gutted the National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) council office in the state.
The Command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Daniel Ndukwe, said this in a statement made available to NAN in Enugu on Sunday.
Ndukwe said: “The state’s Criminal and Investigation Department (CID) has commenced investigation into the fire incident.
“The state CID will unravel the mystery behind the fire incident that occurred at INEC Office in Awgu council area in the early hours of Sept. 19.
“Further development will be communicated, please,’’ he said.
NAN recalls that the Chief Fire Officer in Enugu State, Chief Okwudili Ohaa, had earlier confirmed the fire incident to NAN in Enugu on Sunday.
Ohaa said that a distress call was received by the Enugu State Fire Service at the wee hours of Sunday, at about 1:30 a.m.
“Yes, as usual, when we received the distress call; our trucks and men at Ozalla Station quickly moved down to the scene.
“We equally mobilised fire trucks and firefighters from Enugu metropolis.
“Our prompt intervention saved the entire complex as only one office room was affected in the raging fire before it was extinguished,” he said.
The state fire chief said that the quick response of the firefighters gave credence to the establishment of fire stations in local government areas by Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
There are feelers that the arsonists climbed through the perimeter fence to gain access to the INEC complex.
NAN recalls that unknown arsonists had earlier in the year attacked the INEC Headquarters in Enugu State and INEC Office in Udenu Local Government Area as well. (NAN)